Chinese Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice

These sweet and sour pork meatballs have a gorgeous tangy and sweet sauce and a riff on the classic Chinese restaurant favourite dish. If you love sweet and sour pork this is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!

These meatballs are delicious on their own. Seriously, even if you don't want to make the sauce make the meatballs and put them in a bread roll with some salad a la banh mi style!

How do you make meatballs that are the same size? This is only if you're as OCD as I am. I use a small ice cream scoop that a darling friend sent me from America. It is 3/4 of an ounce scoop and I use it to get consistent sized cookies and meatballs every single time.

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice
After 30 minutes in fridge the meatballs are then rerolled

Refrigerate your meatballs before shaping them. It's amazing what 30 minutes in the fridge will do to a mince mixture. I scoop them and then refrigerate them to firm them up. Then I also do a second rolling so that these meatballs are smoother.

How to make lighter meatballs: Adding bread or rice makes the meatballs even lighter in texture. All meat meatballs tend to be a bit more solid unless they have a high percentage of fat added to them.

Adding vegetables: I love adding vegetables to dishes so that they can be served as a complete meal. If you don't have snow peas, you can add florets of broccoli, spears of baby corn or halved green beans.

Adding flavour to rice: I always, always add flavour to rice, even if it's just a teaspoon of chicken stock powder to plain rice. Other times I add a teaspoon of ground turmeric or a few slices of ginger or cloves of garlic or some coconut milk if I have some. Also don't forget to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every cup of rice that you cook!

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice

While I really miss doing things like yum cha and going to a bustling Chinese restaurant (that will be a while I guess with 10 person limits) I also miss other little things like getting my nails done.

I usually get SNS done to my nails because they get a battering doing all the cooking and regular polish chips easily. But if anyone that has gotten SNS or Shellac done will know, it's an absolute bugger to get off your nails.

I tried to do it myself but I had to call in the cavalry. "Honey, can you come in here and help me?" I called to Mr NQN. In he loped and stopped short when he saw what I was doing.

"I need you to soak these cotton pads in the acetone over there and then wrap my nails in these squares of foil," I explained.

I could see the confusion in his eyes. What did foil have to do with nails? Couldn't I just use nail polish remover (Oh naive protege, nooooo)? He has never been inside a nail salon nor seen the whole slightly odd removal process.

Like a trooper he got into the whole process, carefully wrapping each nail. He even got excited when it came to pulling off the foil. I joked to him that if he found himself without a job post COVID, he could always train in another field of nail artistry. His new nail salon would be called Bushman Beauty!

So tell me Dear Reader, is there another job you think you could do if you have to change professions? Do you add things to your rice to flavour it?

Sweet & Sour Pork Sauce Meatballs With Ginger Rice

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Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 5 lovely readers. Share your rating:

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling time

Cooking time: 35 minutes


  • 500g/1.1lbs pork mince (I made my own using trimmed pork loin chops)
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • 3/4 cup/150g/5ozs. already cooked (not raw) white rice or breadcrumbs (rice from the rice below also works, just make double)
  • 3 tablespoons/60ml/2flozs. soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten

Sweet Sour Sauce

  • 250ml/8.8flozs pineapple juice
  • 125g/4ozs brown sugar
  • 80ml/2.7flozs rice vinegar
  • 60ml/2flozs. tomato sauce
  • 40ml/1.4ozs. soy sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour/fine cornstarch mixed with 2-3 tablespoons cold water


  • Oil for frying
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 tomatoes (I used 2 but 4 is better)
  • 150g/5ozs. snow peas

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice

Step 1 - Combine the pork mince, onion, garlic, rice, soy sauce, sugar and egg together. Use a small ice cream scoop (I swear by my small ice cream scoop for making sure that the meatballs are the same size). Line a tray with parchment and scoop out meatballs. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (don't worry too much about shaping them well, we will do that later).

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice
First scoop

Step 2 - Meanwhile mix all sauce ingredients except for cornflour slurry in a jug. Cut up onion and tomatoes into sixths. When meatballs have had their 30 minutes in the fridge reroll them again with damp hands. Bake in a 180C/350F oven for 25 minutes.

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice
Cooked meatballs

Step 3 - When meatballs are cooked add oil into a frypan and fry the onion until starting to soften. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute. Add the sauce mixture and heat on medium heat and then stir the cornflour slurry and stir to distribute and thicken the sauce. Add the meatballs and snow peas into the pan and coat with the sauce cooking for just a minute.

Sweet & Sour Pork Meatballs With Ginger Rice

Ginger Rice

  • 1.5 cups jasmine rice
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon salt or chicken stock powder

Ginger Rice

Step 1 - Rinse the rice well until the water runs clear. Add the hot water, ginger and salt (I used a Peruvian chilli salt) and stir. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to 1 or the lowest your stove will go and steam for 15 minutes (do not remove lid). Fluff with a fork and discard ginger pieces.

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